Do Labrador Retrievers Bite Their Owners? 9 Steps To Train Them

If you stop someone on the street and asked them which dog you should get, there is a 50% chance that they will tell you just get a Lab. Labrador Retrievers are America’s favorite dogs, and we have this idea about them being the perfect family dogs.

This friendly reputation makes them very popular, but is it all true? Are labs really that nice? The short of it is yes, they really are that friendly, which makes answering this question a very easy answer.

So, Do Labrador retrievers bite their owners? Labrador retrievers do not bite their owners, they may nip when they are teething and even though it’s not painful, you will easily need to train them to nip on their teething toy instead. Labs may only bite if they experienced trauma earlier in life that made them fearful and aggressive.

So, no, if you are wondering if they may turn on you, they won’t. You can expect them to be as friendly as dogs get. You will still need to do the work of training them not to bite, though, but it’s quite easy to do that with Labradors because they are very smart dogs and are easy to train. So, let’s see how you can train your lab to not bite…

Why Do Labradors Bite? 

Labradors may bite when they are puppies if they are teething, excited, or happy, they may also bite if their previous owner didn’t train them to stop biting or if they had physical trauma, however, once you Labrador bites you, you need to stop them immediately and train them.

labrador biting hand to show why do labrador retrievers bite their owners

The situation for golden retrievers is very similar, in case you are asking. You can learn more about that in my guide on why do golden retrievers bite here.

When you get a puppy, you need to train them on the basic commands and other stuff like not biting you, especially when they are teething.

It’s especially important to train them when they’re teething because that’s when the habit is more likely to stick. This happens more often than we’d like to admit because the dog owner things that it’s cute that their puppy is trying to bite on their hands and it just tickles them.

However, before you know it, they will grow and instead of tickling, it will really hurt.

So, follow these 9 steps to train your Labrador to not bite.

9 Steps to train your lab to not bite 

  1. Hold a treat in your fist and make sure that your pup knows that the treat is there and they will try to get it, once they back off, give them the treat to reward them.
  2. When you know that your pup is in a good biting mood, make sure to give them a toy to bite on just to let them know what they can and can’t chew on.
  3. Provide them with a tug-of-war toy and let them bite it and when they do tell them to stop but if they don’t, it’s totally normal, you can start making the toy less interesting by not moving it.
  4. The next thing is trying to associate the word “yes” with positive behaviors, for example, pet them and say the word “yes” then reward them, or touch their paws and repeat.
  5. Now, start playing with your dog and when they start biting, stop playing with them immediately and don’t leave your hands in front of them.
  6. Give them a little break, you can leave them in a separate room, just nap for a little bit, or do whatever they want.
  7. After the break or when they are in the biting mode again, start playing tug-of-war with them again and when they start biting get them going for about two minutes then ask them to let go and if they don’t, make the game uninteresting.
  8. Repeat the last process till they let go of the game when you ask them to and when they do, praise and reward them.
  9. Give them a squeaky toy to make it harder for them to let go and allow them to bite it for a couple of seconds then ask them to let it go till they do and repeat till they absolutely master it.

Do Labradors Attack Humans? 

Labradors do not attack humans, they have a mild nature and they are not known to be aggressive at all, however, just like any other dog, they can develop aggressive behavior if they are not socialized and trained.

Can Labrador retrievers be aggressive?

Labrador retrievers are very unlikely to be aggressive, they have a friendly and laid-back personality and even if they had some behavioral issues they can be easily trained to snap out of them so there is no need to worry about this sweet breed.

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Related Questions 

Do Labradors Attack Their owners? 

No, Labradors do not attack their owners, most Labradors are a playful and gentle breed with a lovely nature but some Labradors can have behavioral issues when they are scared or anxious and that’s why early socialization is really necessary.

Do Labradors Attack Strangers? 

No, Labradors do not attack humans, they are a friendly and nice breed, however, if they feel that their family is in danger or someone is threatening them then they may attack them due to fear, also, if the stranger is an intruder then they may attack due to their protective instincts.

Do Labrador Puppies Bite? 

Yes, Labradors puppies bite when they are teething, in that time they may also snarl or growl which is totally normal because the teething process can be really painful for them, however, you need to make sure your puppy bites on a teething toy and not your hand so they don’t get used to biting you.

Helpful Resources 

Genetic analysis of results of a Swedish behavior test on German Shepherd Dogs and Labrador Retrievers

Management and personality in Labrador Retriever dogs

Living with a Retriever: Recommendations and Sources

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